Music Column: Four new singles you need to hear ASAP

Music Column: Four new singles you need to hear ASAP
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In a seemingly mundane world of time zones and the circumstantial references that place us in said realm of time, there is a gleaming light of pleasure for those not looped into Eastern Standard Time. As a current participant of Central Standard Time due to residence in the state of Alabama, I am able to listen to new albums and singles at 11 p.m. when the East Coast snobs have to wait until midnight. Now, before you start wondering if I comprehend the notion of time zones, I will let you know that I do. While I’m aware that I will be listening to the song at the exact same time as everyone, it’s the knowledge that I’m listening at 11 p.m. instead of 12 a.m., or another day. 

Because of this phenomenon, I was able to listen to LCD Soundsystem’s “American Dream” on Aug. 31, instead of the actual release date of Sept. 1, which makes me special, almost like I was given the album before anyone else. Anyways, this is an overtly dramatic way of saying that impeccably written, produced and performed tracks and albums have been released recently that have not received enough credit. I have listened to some of them at 11 p.m. on a Thursday, if overjoyed at the idea of new music from a specific artist. Now, I will tell you about some of them in a completely subjective fashion.

“Make Me Feel” - Janelle Monae 

The track is unbelievably groovy, unmatched by any recent releases, reminding everyone that Monae is an intrinsically triumphant music maker with an innovative ear that results in elegantly badass music. This single is immediately reminiscent of Prince’s “Kiss” because of the synth line, which makes sense because Prince worked with Monae on the album before he died. Monae will release her new album, “Dirty Computer,” on April 27. 

“How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 3)” - Belle & Sebastian 

Belle & Sebastian is a troupe of seven characters led by Stuart Murdoch. The breadth of talents and instrumental capabilities that a large ensemble warrants creates the expansive musical stylings that have been webbed into the band’s large catalog of albums. Most recently, the band released a three-part series of LPs starting in December 2017. Each individual LP of “How to Solve Our Human Problems” further demonstrates the band’s remarkable capacity to make sparkling songs feel sparse and well rounded with enchanting vocals on top.

“Not Abel” - Hop Along 

This song has two parts, each being an explosion of sonically pleasing instrumentation, marked by the inclusion of a bellowing violin turning into an equally bellowing guitar. This Philadelphia-based group is helmed by Frances Quinlan, an increasingly exciting vocalist, lyricist and guitarist. Hop Along excels at placing a clanging guitar adjacent to Quinlan’s scratchy and powerful voice. At the risk of sounding trite, go listen for yourself and you’ll understand. 

“Twentytwo” - Sunflower Bean 

Sunflower Bean sounds like the epitome of a Brooklyn-based indie rock band with clangingly ethereal guitar, personifying the beautifully grungy aspects of Brooklyn in a track. I can’t stress the coolness that exudes from this track. It’s nostalgically new, which is always the best kind of music.

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